Wednesday, 13 March 2019 19:00

ASA Bonus Webinar Features Jeff Peevy of AMi

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Listening, communication, conflict, negotiation and telephone skills all fall into this category.


“People often claim it takes a lot of work to engrain these things into people because soft skills are often assumed to be personality traits---that’s just how Jeff or Jenny is,” Peevy noted. “Because of this, 94 percent of small businesses fail to formally train their customer-facing staff on these skills, but the best person you have answering the phones can still improve their skills through communications and phone training. Only 2 percent of adults have ever received formal listening skills training. We can all get better.”


Because small business owners are already so preoccupied with managing their companies, it is easy to sideline training. Peevy recommends taking online classes that will effectively teach awareness. Citing a Stanford Research Institute survey from 2008, Peevy shared that 75 percent of long-term job success results from soft skills, while only 25 percent of success is attributed to technical skills.


“Soft skills can make all the difference,” he stated.


Redirecting the presentation to employee engagement, Peevy used Wikipedia’s definition of an engaged employee: “One who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests.”


He then cited a Gallup poll titled “State of the American Worker 2013” that claimed, “Engagement levels among frontline (customer-facing) employees are the lowest of any occupation/role Gallup measures. It continues to decline while engagement for every other category has increased.”


In fact, the Gallup poll showed that while only 30 percent of 100 million U.S. full-time workers are engaged, 52 percent are not engaged and18 percent are actively disengaged, meaning they are acting out their unhappiness and undermining the accomplishments of the engaged workers.


Peevy said, “If you identify certain employees as actively disengaged, you need to get rid of them, but for those who are not engaged, there’s still hope, so you need to work on them.


“Management creates a 70 percent variance in those surveyed, so if you have a lot of folks who are not engaged or who are actively disengaged, realize that you have a lot of responsibility in that. It’s also important to recognize that there was a positive variance in employee engagement as high as 28 percent amongst those whose employers provide consistent soft skills training.”

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